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Hannah and Savage appointed to City Court, as Amodeo retires

City of Buffalo
(l to r) Erie County Legislator Peter Savage, New York State Assemblymember Crystal Peoples-Stokes, Buffalo Mayor Byron Brown, Chief Judge Thomas Amadeo and Judge Craig Hannah.

Retiring Buffalo City Court Chief Judge Thomas Amodeo was honored in a special ceremony Thursday that also announced his successor.

Amodeo was appointed to the bench by former Mayor Jimmy Griffin in 1990. In 1994, under Mayor Tony Masiello, Amadeo became Chief Judge of City Court.

"We are saying farewell to a compassionate and understanding Judge, Thomas Amodeo, who is an individual with wisdom, decency, impartiality and respect for persons on both sides of the bench," said Buffalo Mayor Byron Brown. "We wish him the best of luck and much success, and thank him for a lifetime of service to our city.”

Brown also announced he appointed Judge Craig Hannah to fill the vacancy created by Amodeo's retirement, while Erie County Legislator Peter Savage will fill Hannah's position.

"These two outstanding individuals have made significant contributions to our community and I’m grateful for their dedication and continued commitment to the legal profession and the residents of Buffalo,” said Brown.

Hannah was originally appointed a Buffalo City Court Judge by Brown in 2006 and currently presides over the first Opiate Crisis Intervention Court in the nation, a model solution to the opioid epidemic. He began his legal career as an Assistant District Attorney in the Erie County District Attorney’s Office, then served as a litigator in the city's Corporation Counsel Office and advised Brown when he was in the New York State Senate.

Savage is an attorney with more than 15 years of legal experience in the private and public sectors, including 10 years handling City Court and other cases during his tenure as Assistant Corporation Counsel for Buffalo. He has represented parts of Buffalo, Kenmore and the Town of Tonawanda since 2014 in the County Legislature and would have faced an election this November for another two-year term along with other county lawmakers.

Other City Court judges appointed by Brown are Betty Calvo Torres, Susan Eagan, Amy Martoche, JaHarr Pridgen and Shannon Heneghan.